'Other things take precedence now': Patrick Lefevere says Mark Cavendish's contract talks on hold after Ghent Six Day crash

The 'Manx Missile' posted to social media thanking everyone for their kind words of support

Mark Cavendish being helped to his feet after crashing on final day on Ghent Six Day 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Deceuninck - Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere has said that "other things take precedence now" as he puts contract talks with Mark Cavendish on hold.

Cavendish crashed on the final day of the Ghent Six Day event along with Danish rider Lasse Norman Hansen. Both rider's teams were high up in the rankings for the overall before the crash, in which Cavendish suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Earlier in the week, Lefevere had shared his annoyance that talks of a contract extension for Cavendish were dragging on saying "it gets on my nerves that it drags on for so long."

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But now his tune has changed, in a piece by Het Nieuwsblad, Lefevere said: "The clinic is not a place to come up with a contract - other things take precedence now. Fortunately there is nothing on his femur or his collarbone.” 

Immediately after the accident, the team manager was in contact with team mechanic Kenny Latomme, team doctor Phil Jansen and Cavendish's wife Peta Todd, who were present at the Kuipke Velodrome. 

“Amid the pandemic, I cannot do anything in the hospital," Lefevere said. "Peta drove back to Essex with the kids and then comes back to Ghent by train to pick up Mark's car as well. We wanted to transfer it ourselves if necessary, but Peta politely declined this proposal."

But the outspoken team boss has said that he has everything set for Cavendish and hopes to sort the contract as soon as possible.

"Mark's new contract is ready," he said. "It won't come in one day, but I'd like to see it done once he's fully recovered. He always promised me he wouldn't run away. So..."

Cavendish posted to both his Instagram and Twitter thanking people for their support following the crash.

He said: "Just want to say how overwhelmed & thankful I am for all the support and well-wishes.

"So Ghent Six Day didn’t end the way we’d have preferred, I think it’s fair to say. Some water on the track, a high speed crash and a few barrel rolls later, I’m being treated for some broken ribs & a pneumothorax. In a bit of pain, but a couple of nights with the incredible staff here at Ghent University Hospital should sort me out."

Cavendish has had a resurgence in form over the 2021 season as he returned to Deceuninck - Quick-Step, taking his first win since 2018 at the Tour of Turkey, Cavendish went on to win a further nine times on the road, including four stages and the green points jersey at the Tour de France.

The 'Manx Missile' also took multiple event wins at the Ghent Six Day along with Belgian team-mate Iljo Keisse before crashing out of contention.

Cavendish will likely be focussed on recovery and his off-season now before looking at 2022 and a possible second season back at the newly named Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.